- Over The Rainbow Canada
- Andrew on This Morning
- First O2 show sold out! Second date added
- Superstar – Live Show Announcement
- Official Diamond Jubilee song unveiled
- Jesus Christ Superstar UK Arena Tour
- Andrew to receive BASCA Fellowship
- Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jessie J reunite
- Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar Tony nominations
- Phantom celebrates 10,000 performances in the West End
- Highclere Castle
- Over The Rainbow…Where Are They Now?
- Happy Birthday to the London Palladium…
- Love Never Dies Australian premiere announced
- Andrew hosts centenary celebration for the London Palladium
- Andrew to perform in Julian Lloyd Webber’s 60th Anniversary Gala
- A statement from Andrew
- Oz Blog: The winner is revealed
- The last Dorothy mission….
- Oz Blog: The Final Countdown
- Danielle is your Dorothy!
- Danielle you are Dorothy… and here comes Dangerous Dave as Toto!
- Danielle, Lauren and Sophie have a go at Polo!
- The winning Dorothy to release charity single
- Sierra meets the Dorothys!
- Oz: Blog: Andrew makes his final choice and the final three are revealed
- Bombay Dreams Movie Announcement
- Oz Blog: The Fantastic Four
- Andrew to appear on The Graham Norton Show
- Andrew meets Bobby…
- Oz Blog: The second sing-off
- Oz Blog: A Dorothy Cull…
- We’re off to see The Wizard of Oz!
- From Nancy to Dorothy: A message from Sam and Niamh
- Oz Blog: An Emotional Goodbye
- Oz Blog: An audience with the Lord
- Andrew and the Dorothys get ready for their close up…
- An Over the Rainbow update from Andrew
- Andrew gets ready for next week’s Over The Rainbow
- It’s Toto time for Andrew…
- Oz Blog: Standing ovations as we say another goodbye
- Oz Blog: A chorus of Angels…
- Oz Blog: Another sad goodbye…
- Behind the scenes at Over The Rainbow
- Oz Blog: Making a Song and Dance
- Oz Blog: It’s goodbye to another of our Dorothies…
- Oz Blog: A Class Act
- Oz Blog: The first Dorothy flies over the rainbow
- Oz Blog: The first live show… and the public get to choose
- West End Story: What Nancy, Joseph and Maria Did Next
- Oz Blog: 20 become 10…
- Oz Blog: Over The Rainbow kicks off with weekend special
- Behind the scenes on “Wetten, Das?”
- Filming the Over The Rainbow trailer
- Andrew’s off to see the Wizard… and revisiting the South Bank Show
- BBC ONE Follows the Yellow Brick Road, Over the Rainbow
- The South Bank Show Revisited
- Andrew and Katherine Jenkins on Dancing On Ice
- Your Country Does Need You! Jade is the winner
- We meet Eurovision’s Bucks Fizz
- And then there were three…
- Unbreak our Eurovision hearts
- The Eurovision zoo…
- Chris Moyles The Musical?
- Triumphant night for TV’s Nancy
- A Lulu of a Eurovision
- Double whammy Grammy
- Lee Mead’s final performance as Joseph in the West End
- Grammy Award Winner joins Andrew in his quest for Eurovision glory
- The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber sets new record
- Your Country Needs Them…
- The first instalment from our Eurovision blogger
- Rachel leaves I’d Do Anything semi final
- Andrew to receive Woodrow Wilson Award
- It’s goodbye Niamh!
- Andrew and the Nancy’s meet Celine Dion
- I’d Do Anything Results: Sunday 11th May
- The Phantom of the Opera goes digital!
- Andrew’s speech to the House of Lords
- I’d Do Anything Results: Sunday 4th May
- Could Jenna be Nancy?
- A Tribute Concert for Steven Pimlott
- I‘d Do Anything: Blog 1
- Thank you to chinamusical.net
- Playbill Unmasks Phantom Lyricist
- Andrew Lloyd Webber to be ‘American Idol‘ mentor
- Michael Ball Meets Andrew Lloyd Webber
- I’d Do Anything begins on BBC1
- Andrew and Madeleine set the record straight
- Andrew’s Special Award from SOLT
30th, December, 2008
Meet our Eurovision blogger!
I’ve been mildly obsessed with the Eurovision Song Contest since I was 10 years old.
It was 1967 when, on a grainy black and white TV set, I watched Sandie Shaw tiptoeing to barefoot victory with Puppet on a String. Since then I’ve only missed one Eurovision – Brotherhood of Man winning in 1976 with ‘Save All Your Kisses for Me’, dammit.
As a child I even used to make my family hold up scorecards for the voting. One year I watched it it all alone on a portable TV in my student room in Leeds (another year in the uni TV room). By 1988 I was hosting my own Eurovision parties, with guests bring themed food and drink for each country. I always ended up with a lot of rollmops and large bendy sausages I didn’t need.
Then in 2002 I actually went to the contest in Tallinn, Estonia (you never forget your first time). It was so exciting being in the audience and hearing the countdown as the whole of Europe tuned in. Marc Charpentier’s ‘Te Deum’ fanfare that precedes the contest always gives me goosebumps. Since then I’ve been, as a freelance journalist, to the contest in Riga, Istanbul, Kiev (just months after the Orange Revolution), Athens, Helsinki and Belgrade.
I have faithfully waved my Union Jack for our entry, even for those tuneless nuls pointers Jemini. Rather embarrassingly, I ended up on the same plane home as Jemini – it was like intruding on someones grief.
Among my personal kitsch favourites over the years are a rather-past-it Yugoslavian singer by the name of ‘Baby Doll’ in 1991 shimmying away in an excitable flurry of peroxide, blue chiffon and matching eye shadow singing about Brazil (imagine my excitement when I saw her at the contest in Belgrade last year!) And I’ll never forget Gildo Horn,a German contestant in Birmingham in 1998 who made the Hunchback of Notre Dame look attractive as he clambered about the set in turquoise crushed velvet. Or Paul Oscar, the Icelandic PVC enthusiast who writhed suggestively on a sofa surrounded by Amazonian blondes in fishnet. Only in Eurovision.
We all have memories of the contest, its part of our cultural heritage, something we watched as children with our families, and which we continue to watch every year (viewing figures are now increasing each year). The thrill I had as a child of being allowed stay up late to watch a seemingly glamourous spectacle has never quite left me.
Of course the contest has changed enormously. Most obviously in size, with two semi-finals and more than 40 countries taking part. Even since my first trip seven years ago, it seems to have lost a certain innocence that was always appealing.
My enjoyment of the show has been tempered, too, by the poor performance of the United Kingdom in recent years (we last won in 1997), partly because of the Eastern European block voting, but also the lacklustre entries submitted by this country.
So, like many Eurovision fans, I was thrilled by the news that our foremost theatrical Lord, Andrew Lloyd Webber, is to write this year’s UK song. Even if we don’t win, this will at least restore some musical pride for the country that gave the world The Beatles and send a message to the rest of Europe that we are taking this most treasured of musical institutions more seriously.
So this year promises to be the most exciting for UK fans in a long time. Follow the journey to Moscow’s Olympic stadium in May with the behind-the-scenes blog on this site.
Mark Cook (watching Eurovision since 1967!)
Mark Cook is a journalist and theatre critic for the Guardian Guide and The Big issue